43% of Americans have had COVID-19, the CDC estimates
43% of Americans have had COVID-19, the CDC estimates

43% of Americans have had COVID-19, the CDC estimates

More than 140 million Americans – about 43 percent of the country’s population – have had COVID-19, according to CDC estimates quoted by Washington Post.

Every two weeks, the CDC collects thousands of blood samples analyzed by commercial laboratories for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. These samples have also been tested for coronavirus antibodies. The data is from 72,000 blood samples collected until January 29, which means the number of infected Americans is likely to be much higher now. The study only counts each person once and includes only antibodies from natural infection, not from vaccination.

Nevada was not included in the estimates and there were insufficient data for North Dakota, Arizona and Utah.

Five things to know according to the survey:

1. Estimates of the infection rate are much higher for children and younger adults. The study showed that 58 percent of children aged 11 or younger have antibodies from natural infection, along with the same proportion among ages 12-17.

Almost half of the adults aged 49 and under have been infected. The rate drops to 37 percent for people 50-64 years and 23 percent among Americans 65 or older.

By the end of November – just before omicron began to spread in the United States – the survey estimated that 103 million Americans had been infected. Under this measure, 37 million new people received COVID-19 in the two months ending in late January.

4. At least half of the population in 14 states has had COVID-19, with Wisconsin reporting that 56 percent of the population was infected at some point. The other states with a majority infection rate, in descending order, are Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Wyoming, Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

5. Vermont has the lowest estimated infection rate at 18 percent. The second lowest states in ascending order are Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Virginia and Massachusetts.


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